A 13-month-old tiger cub caused a brief commotion at Indore’s Kamla Nehru zoo on Monday when she scaled a 15-foot-fence and crossed into the buffer zone.
Jamuna, a Royal Bengal tiger cub, had leapt onto the fence that keeps her within her enclosure. This was the second time in a fortnight that Jamuna leapt over a fence.
“Thankfully, Monday was a holiday and there were no visitors. Zoo staff were present when the incident happened. Jamuna was in the buffer area for about 15 minutes before our staff guided her back into the enclosure,” said Nihar Parulekar, the zoo’s curator and education officer. No tranquiliser was required.
Weighing 180 kilos and measuring seven feet, Jamuna is huge and her “abnormally aggressive behaviour” has been keeping the zookeepers on their toes. She has shown to be highly intelligent and athletic -- marks of a tiger’s predatory spirit, and can leap across 10 feet with ease, and cross 14 feet at a run.
“Hence her big leaps,” Parulekar said, adding, “We will shift her to a bigger enclosure, where a white tiger used to stay.”
On November 27, Jamuna jumped out of her enclosure after scaling a 11-foot wall and three feet of iron mesh. The lattice of the mesh had provided a good grip, so zoo authorities fixed an iron sheet atop it to raise the height.
But, the rear of the enclosure -- a three-foot wall and a 12-foot iron mesh -- was left untouched, which is what Jamuna scaled on Monday afternoon.
The back of the enclosure is closed off for visitors, but has a small path that zookeepers use to feed the animal.
“Children outside have thrown stones and make noise. This could have excited the animal,” said mayor Malini Gaud, who reached the zoo following the incident.